Synopsis by Mark Deming
The unusual response of two brothers to devastating news sets the stage for this documentary. Stephen Heywood was 29 years old and had a solid job building houses, as well as a steady girlfriend, when he received word from his doctor that he'd been diagnosed with Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis, a fast-spreading motor neuron condition also known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease." ALS robs its victims of the ability to control their muscles, and no cure has been discovered at this time. Stephen's brother Jamie responded to this news by quitting his job and starting a scientific research team to ferret out new treatments for the disease (given the small number of people who deal with ALS, few drug companies have stepped forward with medicines to ease its symptoms, believing that they could not turn a profit on the drugs). As Jamie wages a personal war against the medical establishment knowing his brother is getting worse every day, Stephen asks his girlfriend to marry him and they decide to have a baby, determined to squeeze a lifetime into the few years he has left with the unflagging support of his friends and family. So Much So Fast was screened in competition at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.
ALS [Lou Gehrig's Disease], brother, diagnosis, drug-company, family-dynamics, obsession, scientific-research